Saltwater Naomi DeBruyn - Editor, Linear Reflections: www.linearreflections.com Victoria, BC, Canada, 5 / 2002 E.V .
Djolé is pronounced "jo-lay" and it is the word which the Mandinka people of West Africa use to describe the joy of life. This is something that is captured in the music which this wonderfully explorative and innovative group perform. Djolé is comprised of Niel Golden, Joby Baker, Doug Galbraith, Scott Sheerin, Sara Marreiros, and Tobin Stokes. Also joining them for this disc are Michael Baron, Dean Samuel, Stephen Kent, Danuel Tate, and Enrique Rivas. Together they perform some musical magic, wandering through new territory with their "timeless sound interwoven with jazz influences." Each track draws forth something new and unique from the listener's perspective, as well. There are a number of diverse and unique instruments used on this disc, far too many to name here, however you could pretty well travel the world through their use. Sara adds a poignant haunting effect to a number of the tracks with her vocal twinings, and gives greater depth to the already enriching pieces. "Cadboro Bay" is a place which is very familiar to me. I spent many summers there as I was growing up, as it was only a mile or so from my home. The tidal flow is captured with the melody, and Sara's vocals carry you along like a refreshing ocean breeze. It is a track which I found to be both relaxing and invigorating. A light and jazzy refrain is found in "Sutukum," a traditional piece. The soprano saxophone takes center stage, the notes pouring forth from it dancing about and above the melody, with the beat being kept by a Moroccan frame drum. Add in a Fender Rhodes and you have a rather incongruous blend, but it is quite pleasing to both the ears and soul. The final track on this disc is "The Idea of Earth," an original Djolé composition. It incorporates a number of those world wide instruments I mentioned earlier, from the tabla to the didgeridoo, and is a rather playful piece incorporating all of the unique sounds which come from the instruments. What the mind thinks should emerge as no more than a cacophony, is in reality a beautiful piece. Djolé is a group who's music excites and explores new avenues of approach, blending the not so obvious with traditional arrangements. They are to be enjoyed, and listened to repeatedly.
Joby Baker (Bass, Drums, Synthesizer & Voice).
Doug Galbraith (Kora, Nylon String Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drums, Clave, Conga, Djembe & Sabar).
Niel Golden (Tabla, Doumbek, Tar, Tambourine, Woodblock & Shaker).
Sara Marreiros (Voice).
Scott Sheerin (Flute, Soprano Saxophone).
Tobin Stokes (Piano & Vibes).
Also featuring performance contributions by:
Michael Baron (Hand Drum & Shaker).
Stephen Kent (Didgeridoo, Click Stick & Shaker).
Enrique Rivas (Surdo & Cuica).
Dean Samuel (Mbira).
Daniel Tate (Electric Piano).